WASHINGTON — Losing shooting guard Bradley Beal for the second half against the Indiana Pacers could have been trouble for the Wizards.
These days they’re playing well enough to overcome it.
John Wall had 36 points and 11 rebounds, and the Wizards held off the Pacers 111-105 on Wednesday night despite losing Beal to a sprained right ankle. Despite starting 1-for-5 from the field, Wall finished 11-for-19 and scored 23 points in the second half, and he was one assist shy of a triple-double.
“I was just still trying to be aggressive, but get everybody involved,” Wall said.
Otto Porter Jr. added 22 points for Washington, and Wall finished one assist shy of his first triple-double of the season. Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 16 rebounds, while Beal scored 12 points in 18 minutes.
The Wizards are 8-3 in their last 11 games, and have won seven straight at home. They’re within a game of .500 for the first time since losing their opener en route to a 2-8 start.
“This is a classic example of how we have to continue to play,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “When some guy is out, next guy has to step up and give us some minutes.”
Paul George scored 34 points and Jeff Teague added 19 points and 11 assists for the Pacers, who trailed by 11 after three quarters and cut the deficit to two late in the fourth.
Indiana has lost four straight since beating Washington on Dec. 19.
Washington outrebounded the Pacers 54-34 and scored 15 second-chance points.
“I thought there were some times when they, just, we got pushed around,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “You’ve got to man up down there, and we need our guards, everybody to come down and get involved. That’s something that we’ve talked about all season long.”
After Indiana closed to 71-68, Wall scored 12 straight Wizards points as they built the lead to 85-74 after three quarters.
George hit a 3-pointer with 3:04 to play and Indiana trailed 96-94. Porter pushed the lead back to five when he sank a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:40 left and Indiana got no closer than 109-105 with 26 seconds left, and Wall then hit two free throws.
Beal fell when he was fouled by Monta Ellis while driving for a layup late in the first quarter. He limped to the foul line and remained in the game.
After the quarter ended, the trainer examined Beal’s right ankle and Beal then went to the locker room. He returned to the game with 5:52 left in the first half, but didn’t play in the second half after being listed as questionable.
Pacers: Ellis (strained right groin) returned after missing five games. Guard Rodney Stuckey (left hamstring) did not play. … The Pacers are 1-13 when trailing after three quarters. … Reserve CJ Miles scored 15 points.
Wizards: Wall (1,894) passed Wes Unseld (1,883) for seventh place on the team’s free throws made list. … Gortat has 17 double-doubles this season. … Washington won despite 18 turnovers.
Brooks said Beal is day-to-day. The Wizards are 0-3 without him this season and were 13-14 when he missed 27 games last season.
PAYING THE PRICE
George was fined $15,000 and McMillan $10,000 on Wednesday by the NBA for public criticism of officiating following Monday’s 90-85 loss at Chicago. “I honestly felt it was an opinion,” George said of his comments. “Everything I said I would not take back. It was an opinion. And I got whacked for it.”
Pacers: Host the Bulls on Friday.
Wizards: Host the Nets on Friday.
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